- The Washington Times - Friday, August 13, 2004

Only the beginning

Former Republican Congressman Bob Barr pondered the greater implications of the twice-married New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey’s announcement yesterday that he would resign from office because of his affair with another man.

“My concern would be to have a man in office so consumed with his image that he would marry twice. It is duplicitous,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, who called the announcement a “bombshell.”

Mr. Barr observed, “This is really bizarro. This is only the beginning of the political season. We have to stick around to see what else happens.”

Mr. Barr, incidentally, will release his new book “The Meaning of IS: The Squandered Impeachment and Wasted Legacy of William Jefferson Clinton” Tuesday — the six-year anniversary of Mr. Clinton’s grand jury testimony regarding his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Ready for Bulfinch

Illinois Senate candidate Barack Obama’s charmed political life troubles the American Spectator’s Mike Van Winkle and Greg Blankenship.

“It is no coincidence that most praise of Obama has been based on style and biography; very little attention has been paid to the substance of his beliefs,” they wrote yesterday. “A mythology is growing around Barack Obama, and as with all myths, the truth is quickly left behind.”

The two cited inconsistencies in his primary victory and his stances on issues such as health care, crime, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the war in Iraq, which Mr. Obama once dubbed “a dumb war”

“Because of the media’s complete unwillingness to explore Obama’s record in the same manner they explored the civil court records of his opponents, the Hyde Park Liberal has gotten a free ride. Democrats tout him as a future president and even Republicans find themselves charmed and envious of the young star,” the authors noted.

“But his wings of wax will not last. In the realm of national politics where merit matters and the press actually vets candidates, we can be confident that a Senator Barack Obama will become the next Paul Wellstone — a nice, bright guy relegated to the back benches of the liberal fringe. If we’re lucky, Illinois voters will wise to this potential fate before they go to the polls in November.”

Dreams of glory

One-time radical activist Tom Hayden thinks that protests planned for the Republican National Convention will eclipse those he led against the party in Chicago in 1968.

“They’ll be bigger by a thousandfold,” Mr. Hayden told New York-based Indymedia.

“[Then Chicago Mayor Richard] Daley and the police really frightened people out of coming, and it was hardly a handful who were there,” he recalled. “I think between 100,000 and ten times that many will be in New York.”

‘Girlie men’ again

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last night introduced President Bush at a Los Angeles fund-raiser by unapologetically reprising his joke about Democrats being “girlie men.”

“I just want you to know how hard I’ve been working for you here in California,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said at a dinner that raised $3 million for the Republican Party, reports Bill Sammon of The Washington Times.

“I’ve been organizing Republicans for Bush-Cheney. I’ve been organizing Austrian-born bodybuilders for Bush-Cheney.

“I have even been organizing girlie-men for Bush-Cheney,” the governor added, prompting raucous laughter from the party faithful.

Mr. Schwarzenegger came under fire from liberals last month for referring to Democratic lawmakers in California as “girlie men,” a term coined in the long-running “Hans and Franz” skit on “Saturday Night Live.”

Courting wallflowers

There is a new voting bloc to woo, the Los Angeles Times noted yesterday.

“With the pool of swing voters drying up quickly, Democratic and Republican groups are increasingly courting unregistered and unreliable voters, a strategy some campaign experts call expensive, unpredictable and necessary,” the Times said.

“With polls in key states deadlocked, campaign bank accounts flush and most likely voters leaning toward a candidate, the two major parties and like-minded groups say they are willing to look for new targets.”

Who are the dormant voters?

Democrats are looking to Hispanics, unmarried women or people ages 18 to 25, while Republican strategists note that 4 million evangelical Christians — reliable Republican voters — did not vote in the presidential election in 2000.

Gore-y details

Al Gore criticized President Bush’s nomination of Rep. Porter J. Goss, eight-term Florida Republican, to lead the CIA, saying the president was using September 11 for political benefit, Associated Press reports.

In a speech yesterday before Music Row Democrats — a Nashville group formed to counter the image of country music as a bastion of Republicans — Mr. Gore said Mr. Bush “just thumbed his nose” at the bipartisan commission established to investigate the attacks.

“Is that the best person to come in and fix all these problems that the 9/11 commission told us about — when he’s been out there as a partisan advocate dividing people on the subject of war and on the subject of intelligence?” Mr. Gore asked.

The Right writes

Think it’s just a liberal library out there? Think again.

A whole gaggle of conservative writers will strut their stuff at the Republican National Convention at Books Done Right, billed by organizers as “a conservative literary forum.”

Authors include Democratic Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia, Ann Coulter, Bob Barr, David Bossie, David Frum, John Fund, Hugh Hewitt, George Marlin, John Podhoretz, Richard Viguerie and others who will discuss the startling success of conservative books and their role in the political discourse.

Righting Hollywood

Much ado is made over the shrill support that actors and performers offer Sen. John Kerry.

“Some stars have GOP stripes,” pointed out the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Beth Gillin yesterday, whose account offered a round-up of Bush supporters.

The list includes comedian Dennis Miller and wrestler “The Rock.”

Actors Freddie Prinze Jr., Bruce Willis, Dennis Hopper, Tony Sirico, Angie Harmon, Robert Duvall, Jason Priestley, Bo Derek, Shannen Doherty and Kelsey Grammar are also in the pro-Bush corner, along with “bohemian right-winger Vincent Gallo, who once called left-wing author and radio talker Al Franken a ‘commie crawfish.’”

Performers Wayne Newton, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kid Rock, Ricky Martin, Britney Spears, Ted Nugent, Steven Tyler, Sara Evans, Lee Ann Womack and the Gatlin Brothers also are fans of Mr. Bush, as is Stephen Baldwin — the youngest of Hollywood’s infamously liberal Baldwin brothers.

Contact Jennifer Harper at j[email protected] or 202/636-3085.

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